Ex-Spartan Stanton: Enos a ‘great hire’ for UM

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Michigan fans know Dan Enos from his time as a Michigan State quarterback and later as an assistant coach for his alma mater, before taking over as Central Michigan’s head coach.

They may also know the Dearborn native from his quarterback days at Dearborn Edsel Ford High, where he was an All-State selection as a senior and threw for 5,743 yards and 46 touchdowns during his high school career.

Enos, who was head coach at Central Michigan for five seasons (2010-14), spent the last three seasons as Arkansas’ offensive coordinator before joining Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s staff as wide receivers coach and assistant. His contract released Wednesday by the university indicates his $150,000 base salary will bump to $750,000 if a coordinator’s title is added to his job description.

While a coach at Michigan State, he worked during the 2006 season with quarterback Drew Stanton, who accounted for 2,252 total yards and 17 touchdowns that season and was voted the team’s Most Valuable Player before he was drafted in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Lions.

Stanton shared his thoughts on Enos via email with The Detroit News.

“Coach Enos helped me in many ways my senior year,” Stanton wrote. “I think his demeanor and approach are what stand out most. He was a tireless worker, always positive and upbeat. He just loves the game and has an infectious personality.”

While Enos’ current job description does not include coaching the quarterbacks, that certainly could be part of an expanded role at Michigan.

Stanton said working with a coach who played the position in college certainly was an asset.

“I think it provides instant credibility at the quarterback position and allows the player to trust and rely on his coach,” Stanton said. “There are split-second decisions that need to be made that decide the outcome of each game. Having been in that position is vital for communication and growth.”

Enos also coached running backs at Michigan State from 2007-09 and worked with Javon Ringer in 2008. Ringer that season led the nation in carries (390), scoring (132 points) and touchdowns (22). He was fourth in the nation in rushing, averaging 125.9 yards a game.

As offensive coordinator at Arkansas the last three seasons, Enos enjoyed early success. In 2015, the Razorbacks’ offense was ranked 29th nationally (465.5 yards per game), and 54th in 2016 (428.4). Arkansas was 4-8 last season and the offense ranked 94th (373.4).

That was still a better ranking than Michigan in 2017. The Wolverines ranked 105th in total offense (348.9) and 110th in passing (171.2).

Enos will be charged, at least initially, with working with a group of receivers that include sophomore-to-be Donovan Peoples-Jones and Tarik Black, who was the team’s leading receiver as a freshman this past season before suffering an injury that held him out the rest of the year.

At some point, it is possible Enos’ expertise as a quarterback will be drawn upon to help coach Michigan’s quarterbacks, including Brandon Peters, who started late this past season as a redshirt freshman; Dylan McCaffrey, who will be a redshirt freshman next fall; Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson, who still awaits word on whether the NCAA will waive the transfer rule and allow immediate eligibility; and early enrollee Joe Milton.

“I think it’s a great hire for Michigan because he’s a local guy that understands Big Ten football,” Stanton said. “He played in this conference and won a Big Ten championship as a quarterback. Plus, he brings not only coordinating ability but head-coaching knowledge from his time at CMU.”

Stanton said it should not be considered odd that the former Spartan quarterback and coach is now on staff of Michigan State’s in-state rival.

“He’s a true professional and saw a great opportunity to work for a quality university,” Stanton said. “No one should fault him for that. He’s not the first player to coach at his rival and I’m confident he will be a great asset for them.”